Tralee Students Are Overall Winners At YSI Awards

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Mercy Mounthawk students with the award. Photo: Mercy Mounthawk Twitter

A TRALEE school was today honoured at the Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland (YSI) Awards for its positive impact in helping to create a more equal, fair, and sustainable world.

Picking up the Gold Award, the team from Mercy Secondary School, Mounthawk, Tralee were crowned overall winners of Young Social Innovators of the Year 2021 for their ground-breaking Red Flags ‘Break the Silence’ project, which aims to tackle the issue of toxic relationships whilst encouraging young people to openly discuss relationships in a safe environment.

The students’ innovation to this issue involved providing tools for young people to identify toxic traits and characteristics in unhealthy relationships, educating their peer group on nurturing healthy friendships and romantic relationships.

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Through the use of their campaign acronym ‘D.E.T.E.C.T to P.R.O.T.E.C.T’, the students innovatively looked to represent and shine a light on common traits in both toxic and healthy relationships to create more understanding amongst their peer group.

Working with Adapt Women’s Refuge in Kerry as well as Women’s Aid, the students launched their campaign aiming to ‘break the silence’ which saw them unveil an inspired relational mural for their school. The winning group also developed a specially curated SPHE lesson pack for schools, in addition to running a series of fundraisers for the associated local charities.

The Red Flags ‘Break the Silence’ team also were successful in receiving the Digital Innovators Award, supported by Virgin Media, for addressing online safety and wellbeing amongst young people.

The team will receive a prize bursary of €2,000, which can be put towards developing their idea and increasing the impact of their innovation.

Killarney Community College was also honoured at the Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland Awards with the Social Media Award, for their project The Connected Four.

The goal of the project sought to raise awareness about the false perception of Autism, ADHD/ADD, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia (DCD). The team aimed to provide a reliable source of information, starting at a young age, through the development of a children’s book to be produced in both printed and audio formats, as well as a series of You Tube videos dispellng myths about the neuro diverse conditions.

Now in its 20th year, YSI focuses on empowering Ireland’s young people to reimagine the world and the communities they live in, by developing and implementing ideas that help create a fairer, more equal and sustainable world.

Today’s Awards ceremony was compered by Virgin Media’s Zara King along with former Hometown member, and YSI Speak Out Tour Host, Dayl Cronin. It was a huge celebration of teenagers’ achievements in a what has been a challenging year for students and their teachers.


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